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Your religious beliefs are false, now what?

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  • Originally posted by pancreasman View Post
    Very difficult to assign odds. This BTW is why Pascal's wager is faulty. The choice isn't really between the Christian God or no God, but rather between all the historical and current notions of God and no God. Looked at dispassionately, finding the one correct choice out of all these possibilities is pretty unlikely. Of course some choices are more or less likely than others.
    The critics of Pascal's wager interject other possibilities and so find fault with it. His wager was just between the two cases as he formulated it. A the fallacy of bifurcation. It is my understanding Pascal never proposed it publicly while he was alive. It came from his unpublished writings.

    The odds will be dependent upon the number of possible choices. 6 religions, one in 6. 30,000 religions 1 in 30,000. We make choices among them anyway. And we cannot chose what we do not know can be a choice. The odds are against us.
    I'm also wary of 'obvious' truths. It's 'obvious' the sun revolves around the Earth, it's 'obvious' heavy things fall faster than light things. If we make so many errors with physical things how can we hope to recognise 'obvious' metaphysical truths?
    Some of those things are supposed, but are not really true.

    Before I knew about Pascal's wager, I had proposed a method to test ideas that were not otherwise empirically testable. When I had presented it on a BBS discussion forum, I was told that it was Pascal's wager.

    The method takes only two views at a time. One is premised to be true, while the other is premised not to be true. And it is further premised what one is believing is the view which is not true.

    Then the roles are reversed the one premised to be true is then instead premised to be false and the one premised to be false is then instead premised to be true. Again, premising the one premised to be false, is the one that is being believed.

    The idea is to get an equal comparison of those two views. And the likelihood the one believed is the one that is not true. Which would be the one to be wrong about, if the other is true?

    Then pick another view to compare with the view that was chosen from the other set. And so on and so forth. Only comparing two views at a time. Understanding the more choices the more likely a wrong choice will be made. And there is no guarantee that any of the two views are ever the really true thing to believe.

    Now of course one really does not want to pick what is not really true. But it is a comparison test. And different people getting the same result will still make different choices. It makes sense to me. But others dismiss it.

    It is a method to compare. One does not have to make any choice at all using the method. And that too my friend is a choice too. Just one more of the choices to make.
    Last edited by 37818; 04-20-2015, 09:10 PM.
    . . . the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; . . . -- Romans 1:16 KJV

    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 KJV

    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1 KJV

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    • Originally posted by pancreasman View Post
      Very difficult to assign odds. This BTW is why Pascal's wager is faulty. The choice isn't really between the Christian God or no God, but rather between all the historical and current notions of God and no God. Looked at dispassionately, finding the one correct choice out of all these possibilities is pretty unlikely. Of course some choices are more or less likely than others.

      I'm also wary of 'obvious' truths. It's 'obvious' the sun revolves around the Earth, it's 'obvious' heavy things fall faster than light things. If we make so many errors with physical things how can we hope to recognise 'obvious' metaphysical truths?
      As I understand it, Pascal's wager wasn't meant to be an opening argument, but a closing one-- it is only when a person understands the comparative plausibility of the Christian understanding of the deity and of the historical facts of Christian revelation.
      Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by 37818 View Post
        The odds will be dependent upon the number of possible choices. 6 religions, one in 6. 30,000 religions 1 in 30,000. We make choices among them anyway. And we cannot chose what we do not know can be a choice. The odds are against us.
        That's not really the way that odds work. There's generally much more that goes into odds-making than simply the number of possible outcomes. If you roll a pair of dice, there are 12 possible values which can result; however, the odds of rolling a 2 are not 1-in-12, but rather 1-in-36, while the odds of rolling a 7 are not 1-in-12 but rather 1-in-6. Similarly, if Magnus Carlsen (current Chess world champion, and highest rated player ever) were to play against me in Chess, there are only three possible outcomes: he wins, I win, or we draw. If you think that gives me 1-in-3 odds of defeating Magnus Carlsen in Chess, you are sorely mistaken.

        Similarly, if there are 6 religions in the world, that does not mean each of them has a 1-in-6 chance of being correct; nor 1-in-30,000 if there are 30,000 religions in the world.
        "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
        --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

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        • Originally posted by 37818 View Post
          The critics of Pascal's wager interject other possibilities and so find fault with it. His wager was just between the two cases as he formulated it. A the fallacy of bifurcation. It is my understanding Pascal never proposed it publicly while he was alive. It came from his unpublished writings.

          The odds will be dependent upon the number of possible choices. 6 religions, one in 6. 30,000 religions 1 in 30,000. We make choices among them anyway. And we cannot chose what we do not know can be a choice. The odds are against us.
          Some of those things are supposed, but are not really true.

          Before I knew about Pascal's wager, I had proposed a method to test ideas that were not otherwise empirically testable. When I had presented it on a BBS discussion forum, I was told that it was Pascal's wager.

          The method takes only two views at a time. One is premised to be true, while the other is premised not to be true. And it is further premised what one is believing is the view which is not true.

          Then the roles are reversed the one premised to be true is then instead premised to be false and the one premised to be false is then instead premised to be true. Again, premising the one premised to be false, is the one that is being believed.

          The idea is to get an equal comparison of those two views. And the likelihood the one believed is the one that is not true. Which would be the one to be wrong about, if the other is true?

          Then pick another view to compare with the view that was chosen from the other set. And so on and so forth. Only comparing two views at a time. Understanding the more choices the more likely a wrong choice will be made. And there is no guarantee that any of the two views are ever the really true thing to believe.

          Now of course one really does not want to pick what is not really true. But it is a comparison test. And different people getting the same result will still make different choices. It makes sense to me. But others dismiss it.

          It is a method to compare. One does not have to make any choice at all using the method. And that too my friend is a choice too. Just one more of the choices to make.
          I have used a similar method most of my adult life, but the catch is; What is the criteria for the decision making process after comparisons are made. What is proposed in this thread is something like, 'IF one's faith is absolutely proven wrong.' In virtually all situations this criteria makes it safe for one to easily reject all other choices then their own belief.

          Pascal did assume all other possible choices as false before proposing a comparison of choice between Christianity and Atheism. His proposal of the criteria of choice did not address the possible truth value between the two options.
          Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
          Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
          But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

          go with the flow the river knows . . .

          Frank

          I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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